The Arabic news network Al Jazeera has signed a five-year distribution deal with Munich-based Studio100 Media to broadcast the live-action children's series "Bumba the Clown." Bumba is a moon-faced circus harlequin who plays the drums and imparts pearls of wisdom to the pre-K set (see YouTube here.) One Belgian IMDB reviewer with a 9-month-old who can't get enough raves: "The show revolves round a yellow dressed clown and his friends. There's another clown, a bear, a rhino, an elephant, an Asian girl and I think there's a bird somewhere as well. Maybe a monkey. (You can't blame me for not remembering, I hardly watch it)." So goodbye cycles of violence in Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Sudan, where Bumba will now appear regularly.
Unlike certain grandfatherly former presidents, Matt Drudge hasn't yet forgotten the dark lessons of our shared childrens' book history. It starts with a hug, Jimmy—then Hamas will want a cookie. Soon you've handed over Israel to extremists, and then they'll just be thirsty for milk. American milk. [Drudge]
Reuters might have another little problem with dramatic photos from the Middle East. The wire service sent this photo out last week with the caption "Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008." The photo—taken, along with a couple similar ones, by Gaza local Reuters photog Mohammed Salem—purports to show how Palestinian leaders are soldiering on in the face of the Israeli blockade and power cuts. Except that it's clearly the middle of the day, and sunlight would be streaming through the windows if the curtains weren't closed.